Editor’s Note: The following is part of a class project originally started in Fall 2021 in Professor Adam Kuban’s classroom at Ball State University. Kuban continued the project this fall, asking students to find and propose ideas for sustainability initiatives in the Muncie area. Thanks to her Deanna Watson, editor of The Star Press, Journal & Courier, Pal-Item. November 2022 and her December featured several such articles.
Muncie, Indiana — After COVID-19 forced the Attic Window Thrift Store and Donation Center to close all five locations for three months in early 2020, Louanna, Director of Retail Operations for Attic Window Mr. Ross had no idea how profitable the business was. It will be as soon as it reopens.
The store posted record years for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, with 2,100 vehicles donated to the South Muncie location at 400 W. Memorial Drive in October 2022.
Ross has been with the thrift store for over nine years, overseeing stores in Muncie, Hartford City, Newcastle and Winchester. Attic Window operates under his Muncie Mission Ministries and sells clothing, shoes, furniture and other items.
With 40 years of experience in retail management, Ross has seen a growing interest in sustainability from customers, staff and vendors in recent years.
“We’re not just a retailer. We’re big on recycling,” Ross said. “When the cotton on the t-shirts is 50% or more, he recycles them and cuts out the logo. Factories come in and buy them for $8 to $11. We are still using the product. increase [even] If not worth selling. ”
Emily Gartner, owner of Art Threads Studios in Indianapolis, has been a full-time textile artist for the past 22 years.
Gartner has worked in the fashion industry in New York City and was assistant curator of textiles at the Allentown Museum of Art in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
According to Gartner, thrift stores are important because they can sell items that might otherwise have ended up in landfills to customers who need them.
Gartner said, “I will not allow my little studio to become a dumping ground for people’s offcast items, such as sewing machines, fabrics, and clothing.” I think it’s better.”
Attic Window follows an organized recycling procedure, Ross said. In the warehouse area, staff identify button-down t-shirts that aren’t worth selling, cut off the buttons, and recycle them, Ross said. Ross said he also recycles aluminum, cardboard, cast iron, copper, metal and paper. This gives Attic Window the opportunity to upcycle parts of their unwanted products and turn them into new materials.
Gartner and Ross say they have noticed in recent years that younger customers are paying more attention to the contents of their shopping carts and exhibiting a sense of urgency.
According to a 2020 study, “The Sustainable Closet,” by researchers at Molloy University in New York, more than 70% of undergraduates at universities in the northeastern United States were aware of fashion reselling platforms.
Because Generation Z is interested in posting their own clothes and seeing what their friends are wearing, the study highlighted social networking as the number one factor in resale enjoyment. rice field.